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    In Memoriam: Charles Barnard

    Charles Barnard, a masterful Stockton sign artist whose scintillating and spectacular creations helped turn Las Vegas into a supremely dazzling destination, died Monday, October 23, 2017. He was 89.

     

    Barnard, who worked for the Stockton firm Ad Art for 36 years, 23 years as executive art director, passed away peacefully at home.

    “We believe he was one of the great sign designers,” Cynthia Behr Warso of the Neon Museum of Las Vegas said. “Not just of his era. We think his work stands the test of time.”

    Charles F. “Chuck” Barnard was born in Glendale in 1928. He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After serving in the U.S Army from 1948-51, working in Southern California, and marrying, Barnard moved to Stockton in 1957 to work for Scott Bros. advertising. In 1965 he joined the design staff at Ad Art, Inc.

    Ad Art then was an upstart advertising company breaking into the intense competition to create ever-larger and more brilliant signs for Las Vegas hotels and casinos. The signs, lightwork and architecture that they designed and fabricated were phenomenal. Barnard designed the concept for Vegas’ 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower; the New Orleans Superdome’s 200-foot mega-sign; and the Reno Arch.

    Barnard’s scintillating and sophisticated port cochere for The Aladdin.

    In the 1990s, Barnard cut back on his hours and stepped down as art director to author the Bible of Vegas neon, “The Magic Sign.” The book captures the excitement of the feverish competition, incendiary creativity and round-the-clock work that went into designing and fabricating Vegas signs. In the text, Barnard displays his modesty, celebrating rival designers and sometimes mentioning his work last.

    Barnard’s friend, Steve Wynn, thought that typical. In the forward to “The Magic Sign,” the casino magnate behind resorts such as The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio, wrote in 1993:

    “His work in Las Vegas and elsewhere powerfully establishes his credentials as … the most recognized and creative man in this singular profession today.”

    Barnard fathered four children. The youngest, Kim Barnard, called his father “a great dad, a wonderful human being and a person I’ve been aspiring to be as good as all my life.” “He really did set a milestone,” Kim Barnard said. “And he did it naturally. He didn’t try. He did everything with a level of perfection, and humility.”

    Barnard retired in 2001. At the 2005 Centennial of Las Vegas, city officials presented him The Fabulous Neon Award “for illuminating Las Vegas to the World.”

    In retirement, Barnard traveled and painted. He was working on an updated edition of “The Magic Sign” when he took ill.

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    CONNECT: A Conference to Remember

    The first CSA Educational Conference of the new, six-year plan was phenomenal!

    Hosted Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 23-25, at the Ontario Convention & Airport Hotel in Ontario, the emphasis was on education. From the first swing of the golf clubs, to the last enlightening seminar, the 2017 conference was memorable!  Continue Reading

  • CONNECT: Connections + Education for Sign Trade Professionals

     

    The first CSA Educational Conference of the new, six-year plan is scheduled to take place Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 23-25, at the Ontario Convention & Airport Hotel in Ontario.

    Consistent with the goals of the CSA Board, the emphasis this year will be on education. With the finishing touches being put on the enhanced training (STEPS) program, the conference provides a good opportunity to kick off this ambitious program for the 2017-18 CSA year. Teeing off with golf, you will make new connections that boost your business.  Then soak up knowledge, hang with movers and shakers at the dinner event, and leave with batteries charged!  Participation in the 2017 conference is sure to be memorable!  READ AND REGISTER HERE. Continue Reading

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    SoCal CSA Members Meet, Learn, Eat in May

    Think Lean Seminar Followed by Dinner and Presentation

    It is no wonder that SoCal CSA members thoroughly enjoyed the Seminar on May 18 at the Catch Restaurant in Anaheim. Presenter Melissa Searle took command using her progressive leadership experience, encouraging all to engage in a workshop atmosphere to build skills for developing a lean environment and way of thinking. After the terrific reviews received following Melissa’s presentation in Northern California, Oct.-2016, it was not surprising to see her “hit it out of the park” once again. Thank you Melissa!

    The seminar was followed by a great dinner and presentation, in a private dining room.

    The Dinner was attended by 32 people, all anxious to hear about the wonderful program in place within California, educating our High School Students on both college and career opportunities. The new CSA Enhanced Training Program currently being developed by the association board of directors and staff, is a prime example of where these young people can look to enter into the workforce.

    CSA staff and several of our members, have participated in school tours and organizational meetings regarding this very important issue: Where do we get the young people the industry wants to align with, and invest in, for the future? Mr. Rob Atterbury, Director, District and Regional Support of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, provided a wonderful presentation on the answer to that very question. Thousands of high school students in California are enrolled in Public High School Academies, where they are taught that paramount to their success in life is the need to be prepared to move forward after high school. ConnectEd impresses upon each student that they will be expected to work in a team, dress professionally, speak appropriately, tackle difficult projects – including designing, planning and implementation of the plan to a successful conclusion. These young academy graduates will certainly be given serious consideration for participation in the CSA Advanced Training Program to be implemented next year.

  • May Meeting: Solar Energy, Wine & Roses

    Neal Tibbs is Featured Speaker

    CSA held a very successful CSA Membership Luncheon and Program, May 11, 2017, at Wine & Roses in Lodi, CA. 22 people were in attendance for lunch and a seminar on Solar Lighting/Energy for signs. The seminar was presented by Neal Tibbs, V.P. – Ad Art, and 2nd V.P. of CSA. Neal shared slides on the solar products available from SimpliPhi; this is a solar company that Ad Art has worked with successfully on several grocery store locations in Northern California. Neal described the solar collection, battery storage, and power distribution method and spoke on the ability to have the solar unit being a stand alone, or connected to the grid during extended foul weather situations. All in attendance appreciated the fact that Neal was able to speak first-person about the projects, since he was actually on site during the installation and initial lighting of the systems. In addition, CSA Executive Director, Roy Flahive, informed the attendees of current CSA activities (pictured).

    Keith Wills, CSA Past President and current board member, is showcasing the Member Helping Member Program that CSA has been spearheading for the last several years. Keith indicated exciting new offers will be forthcoming in the program this summer – look for your opportunity to take advantage of these special offers. CSA: Where A MEMBER HELPS A MEMBER!

     

  • April BOD Meeting in a Shark Tank

    The California Sign Association held a meeting of its Board of Directors on Friday, April 21, in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the ISA Expo. This board meeting started at 7:30am – yes that is in the morning, in Las Vegas, and 25 of our 27 directors were in attendance – that is dedication!

    With the generous attendance, business moved rapidly during the three-hour meeting. Some outcomes included a review of healthy financial statements; regulatory and local code highlights from legal counsel Jeff Aran; discussion of continued growth in CSA membership (13 new members so far this year); update on the crane operator certification program; and dialogue on the enhanced training program CSA is developing for sign fabrication, installation, and sign related administrative skills.

    President Michelini made certain the window shades were down until most of the board’s perfunctory tasks were addressed. His request that the shades be raised enabled the Directors to see for the first time that the meeting room adjoined the actual shark tank in the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, one of the largest exhibits of its kind. To say the view was fabulous is an understatement – it was awesome.
    During a 15-minute break in the meeting, everyone got a good view of the aquarium, housing more than 1,200 species of aquatic life including sharks, exotic fish and more. Following this, the committee chairs reported on their respective committees including – the Government Affairs, Communication, Professionalism, Education, Technical and Membership Committees.

    Roy Flahive
    Executive Director
    California Sign Association

  • CSA at the Races in 2017

    On March 9th, as the morning fog lifted, horses and trainers could be seen preparing for the day’s races at Golden Gate Fields located in Albany. This was the beginning of a winning day for CSA members and staff who attended the NorCal Day at the Races! Valet parking, entrance fee, a program, the CSA-sponsored Fifth Race (California Sign Association noted in the program under the fifth race), a picture in the winner’s circle and a wonderful buffet lunch all were included in the CSA Event Package.

    We couldn’t have asked for a better day: The weather was perfect, the track was fast, and the beverages and conversation started flowing at 11 a.m. Lunch was served at noon, first post was 12:45 p.m., betting was active, and cheering for favorite horses was lively and loud. CSA members and guests soon gathered near the Winners Circle for the start of our “Fifth Race”, with “horse #5” finishing as the winner, and a number of CSA members racing to collect their winnings!

    Based on comments from attendees, it looks like this CSA activity will become an annual event!

  • News on the March 2017

    Some noteworthy members have made the news and we wanted to share these insights with you! David Schauer, President of Signtech Electrical Advertising is being showcased in the latest ISA EXPO Brochure, most of you have probably received in the last couple of days.

    David, along with Jim Withrow, Training Manager/Safety Officer for Signtech joined Cheryl and I at a meeting of the San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium, on March 2nd, at the San Diego Headquarters of the United Way. The goal of the meeting was to engage local area employers in providing work-based learning experiences for high school and community college students. This meeting was organized by Rob Atterbury with ConnectEd, the organization that Pete, Cheryl and I have been working with the last several months regarding identifying the sign industries future qualified employees.

    Signtech, under the leadership of David , is on the forefront of this CSA endeavor. Signtech’s VP of Production and CSA Board Member, Patty Soria and Jim attended the workshop at Clairemont High School two weeks ago with me and Cheryl. They wanted to learn firsthand about the Linked Learning Program and its potential for helping to solve the need for qualified employees in the sign and graphics industry. Discussions were held regarding internships, job shadowing, speaking opportunities, company tours, mentoring, etc.

    With involved CSA members like David Schauer participating in this Team Effort, the future for the sign industry in California looks bright!

    Long time CSA Member (since 1984) Pat Cory, president of McHale Signs, named Redding Citizen of the Year.
    McHale Signs is a member of CSA, ISA and WSA.

    Cheryl and I have known Pat and his wife Bernice for over 25 years, and a nicer gentlemen and family you will not find. Full story here: Citizen of the Year 

    Roy Flahive
    Executive Director
    California Sign Association

  • EXPO! EXPO! EXPO!


    The International Sign Expo! The 2017 show is taking place April 19-22 (tradeshow starts April 20) at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas and registration is open!

    Of course you are going to the International Sign Expo – the world’s largest tradeshow for sign professionals – and of course you know all about the Expo. You’ve been going for a while!  But with the Expo there are some “extra” special events that can make this business trip an even more fulfilling excursion!  Here is what we are especially excited about! Continue Reading

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    January 2017 Board Meets and Eats in Northern California

    On Thursday, January 19th, the CSA Board of Directors met at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento for a regularly scheduled board meeting. In attendance were 19 of the 24 directors plus two active CSA Directors Emeritus, as well as Roy Flahive, Executive Director, and Cheryl Flahive, Dir. of Member Services. The subject matter addressed at the meeting included updates to the board from standing committees (Government Affairs, Education, Communication, Technical, Professionalism and Membership); the CSA Apprenticeship Program; Crane Operator Certification Program; as well as additional activities by CSA staff.

    After the board meeting, 29 attendees took a tour of the Railroad Museum, an exceptional and beautiful facility– one that any individual or family would doubtless enjoy visiting. Following this tour, 37 people sat down for dinner and camaraderie, with a presentation by the Sacramento School District regarding their ConnectEd Program. Continue Reading

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